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Judeophobia - History and analysis of Antisemitism, Jew-Hate and anti-"Zionism"
Chapter 13: Judeophobia ('Anti-Semitism') in The United States

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Chapter 13: Judeophobia ('Anti-Semitism') in The United States


Main Page: Judeophobia ('Anti-Semitism') - A History and Analysis of Jew Hate

Judeophobia ('anti-Semitism',Jew Hate) in the Pagan Ancient World

Judeophobia (Anti-Semitism, Jew Hate) in the Early Christian Church

Medieval Persecution of Jews I - Proselytization, Conversions and Ghettos

Medieval Persecution of Jews: II- Crusades, Expulsions, Inquisitions and Massacres 

Medieval Persecution of Jews: III- Blood Libels and other Myths

Persecution of the Jews Under Islam

Judeophobia ('anti-Semitism') in the Reformation

Judeophobia in the Enlightenment and 19th Century France

Germany: Racism and Judeophobia ('Anti-Semitism')

Conspiratorial Theories and Russian Judeophobia ('Anti-Semitism')

Marxism and Judeophobia ('Anti-Semitism')

Judeophobia ('Anti-Semitism') in The United States

Contemporary Anti-Zionism

Holocaust Denial

Theories of the Etiology of Judeophobia ('Anti-Semitism')

The last chapter concluded by considering the New Left, which had a strong impact in American youth, and now we will include a special consideration about the American scene. To some extent, since there was no need for Emancipation in the US (Jews took an active part in the very inception of the States) Judeophobia in America can be seen as an imported phenomenon. Before the independence, in no colony were the Jews physically harmed as such (an attempted expulsion took place in 1654 by Peter Stuyvesant, Dutch governor of New Amsterdam). Other minorities were more group-targets than the Jews.

Native Judeophobia appeared during the Civil War when voices in both fighting sides accused “the Jews” of helping the enemy. On December 17, 1862, Ulysses Grant (victorious Union Army general and 18th US President) issued his infamous expulsion of all Jews from Tennessee, and President Abraham Lincoln reversed this “General Order Number 11” only after it was enforced in several towns.

Although in the US there was no “response to Emancipation,” a good test for Judeophobia, the 1890’s witnessed Jew-hatred as a response to the increasing cultural gap. Between 1881 and 1890 over 1,500,000 Jews arrived fleeing the pogroms (two lessons ago we described it as the biggest exodus ever. If we take the period between 1881 and 1920, 3 million Jews entered the US). Much of the older population distrusted the Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Thus, Henry Adams (a great-grandson of the second US President) voiced fears that the Jews were going to control the country: “The Jew atmosphere isolates me.” In Ignatius Donnelly’s 1890-novel “Caesar’s Columns,” the Jews seized power to take revenge against the Christians for how they had made them suffer. The aftermath of this cultural gap was “Restrictionism,” a movement to limit immigration, whose intellectual fathers did not avoid Judeophobia (Madison Grant’s 1916-“The Passing of the Great Race” condemned the Jews for mongrelizing the nation) and eventually achieved the Immigration Act of 1924 which heavily discriminated against South and East European immigration.

However, American presidents and leaders altogether expressed their esteem for the Jewish people. The founding fathers of the US had the same origin as the Puritans in England, who through their love for the Bible they rediscovered the Bible’s language, land and nation.

Responding to czarist Russia’s refusal to issue visas to American Jews and mistreatment of those few who got them, in 1911 the American government abrogated unilaterally the Russo-American Treaty of 1832.

A few patterns were similar to the European scene, although always in a much lesser degree. Thus, the “American Dreyfus affair” took place in 1913 against engineer Leo Frank, a factory manager in Atlanta. After his employee Mary Phagan was found murdered in the factory basement, Frank was immediately arrested and charged. The flimsy evidence was the testimony of a black employee who was suspected of being himself the true culprit. Mobs in and out of the courtroom called for Frank’s blood, the Jeffersonian Magazine demanded the execution of “the filthy, perverted Jew of New York,” and its editor led an order of “Knights of Mary Phagan” to organize a boycott of Jewish stores throughout Georgia. The Judeophobic atmosphere helped the guilty verdict and two years after the indictment, a mob dragged Frank from jail and lynched him. It was the first and last case until the episodes in Crown Heights a few years ago, when African American assaulted random Jews and murdered one as an act of “retaliation” against the accidental slaying of two children by a Chasidic driver who lost control of his car.

In Latin America, the similarities to European characteristics were blunter, especially Argentina, where a pogrom took place, perpetrated by the “Liga Patriotica” during the “Tragic Week” of 1919, and many Judeophobic gangs acted thereafter. But the scope we set for this course excludes a whole chapter of South American Judeophobia, each country having its own history.

The Leo Frank case was a harbinger of an upsurge of overt Judeophobia after WW1. The artificial national unity was over, and postwar disillusionment brought during the 1920’s fear that the old way of life was under the onslaught of the foreign born, the city, and religious liberalism. The racist, ultraconservative and Judeophobic Ku Klux Klan reached a membership of 4 million  in 1924. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were spread by Henry Ford (as was mentioned in last lesson) in a campaign from 1920 until 1927, when he finally issued a public apology.

In 1922, educational discrimination became a national issue when Harvard announced it was considering a quota system for Jewish students. Albeit eventually dropped, the quota was enforced in many colleges through underhanded techniques (as late as 1945 Dartmouth College openly admitted and defended a quota system against Jewish students). Jews encountered resistance when they tried to move into white-collar and professional positions. Banking, insurance, public utilities, medical schools, hospitals, large law firms and faculty positions, restricted the entrance of Jews. This era of “polite” Judeophobia through social discrimination, underwent in the 1930’s an ideological escalate.

A new ideology appeared which accused “the Jews” of dominating Franklin Roosevelt’s administration, of causing the Great Depression, and of dragging the US into WW2 against a new Germany which deserved but admiration. The main spokesman for these tenets was the Catholic priest Charles Coughlin, whose weekly radio program drew millions of listeners. When in 1942 the truth of the Holocaust began to be known, the Church ordered Coughlin to cease all non-religious activities.

The avant-garde of the new isolationism was the America First Committee, which included the aviation hero Charles Lindbergh. In 1941 he termed the Jews the most dangerous force pushing the US into the war. In 1944 a public opinion poll showed that a quarter of Americans still regarded Jews as a “menace.” But after WW2 American Judeophobia declined, except for the African American community.

In spite of the strong Jewish participation in the African American civil rights movement of the 1950’s, the Black power movement generated considerable friction in the African American-Jewish relations, especially when a native form of Islam attracted African Americans in search of an identity, while the Muslim world was at war with the Jewish sate.

On April 14, 1970, the radical Black power leader Stokely Carmichael declared: “I have never admired a White man, but the greatest of them was Hitler.” Similar expressions are heard today by Louis Farrakhan and other leaders of his “Nation of Islam.” Judaism is openly called  “a gutter religion” and in 1994 labeled Hitler “a genius.” His aide Khalid Abdul Muhammad declared that “Jews are “bloodsuckers... You’re called Goldstein, Silverstein and Rubenstein because you’ve been stealing all the gold and silver and rubies all over the world.”

Gustavo Perednik

Next: Chapter 14: Contemporary Anti-Zionism

Start - Judeophobia - A History and Analysis of Jew Hate or so-called Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism

Gustavo Perednik


These pages are adapted by the kind permission of Dr. Gustavo Perednik.They  are based on a twelve-lecture Internet course prepared for "The Jewish University in Cyberspace." During 2000 and 2001, the book by Gustavo Perednik "Judeophobia" was published in Spanish. This course summarizes the core ideas of the book. It presents a comprehensive and unique analysis of the development of Jew hate (Judeophobia or anti-Semitism) throughout history. It tries to answer the question "why the Jews?" - why have Jews been particularly singled out for ethnic, racial and religious persecution, and it traces the relationship between anti-Zionism and racist Judeophobia or so-called anti-Semitism.

Zionism and Israel Information Center is grateful to Dr. Perednik for his permission to popularize his works.

History of anti-Zionism External link: Antisemitism


Reproduced by permission. This work is copyright ©1997-2005 by Gustavo Perednik. Please do not copy it in any form without direct permission from the author.  All rights reserved

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